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Top 10 amateur athletes go on alert

Ten top athletes are finalists for the Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year awards, which will go to one man and one woman at the 53rd annual Oregon Sports Awards on Jan. 30.

The awards show, which honors the best in the state in 2004, is set for the Tiger Woods Center at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton.

Hayward men finalists are Linfield quarterback Brett Elliott, Oregon State receiver Mike Hass, Oregon basketball guard Luke Jackson, UO track star Tommy Skipper and OSU defensive end Bill Swancutt.

The women finalists are Georgia softball standout Nicole Barber, Olympic rower Kate Johnson, University of Portland soccer star Christine Sinclair, OSU swimmer Birte Steven and Olympic fencing champion Mariel Zagunis.

Awards will go to athletes, coaches, teams, administrators and organizations in 14 categories Ñ including pro, amateur, small college, high school and Special Olympics. Winners will come from nearly 75 finalists who were selected by a statewide panel.

More than 20 sports celebrities will help Master of Ceremonies Bill Schonely present the awards.

The show, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be televised live by KATU (2) and carried by simulcast on 1080 AM the Fan. The Fan also will broadcast two hours of pre-event coverage, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 and include beverages and hors d'oeuvres before the show, along with desserts and coffee afterward. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 503-721-7477, ext. 13.

The event is sponsored by Nike, the Portland Tribune, KATU, Standard TV & Appliance, Les Schwab Tire Centers, the Portland Trail Blazers and SportsOne Inc.